INFINIDAT and Veeam come originally from different segments of the market, but have partnered around an enterprise play, and INFINIDAT is looking to enlist some of Veeam’s top solution providers to increase their own ranks of ‘go-to’ partners.
CHICAGO – INFINIDAT, a well-funded storage startup with a positive cashflow and a growing position at the high end of the storage market, is here this week at the VeeamON event – the first time they have attended. They are fresh off the March announcement of a product integration with Veeam, their first work together. After several years of being a single product company, they now have a suite of offerings, which they are presenting to Veeam customers and partners at the event. They are also trying to interest more of Veeam’s top partners in working with them, in order to expand their value channel.
In the past several years, Veeam has been engaged in a focused strategic initiative to expand their enterprise presence. Working with INFINIDAT is thus a logical step for them, since that is INFINIDAT’s sweet spot in the market. Their deployments tend to be a petabyte of storage and up, for customers with needs for high performance, reliability and availability.
“With 3.4 exabytes of storage in the market, we are the largest enterprise storage company that most people haven’t heard of,” said Bob Cancilla, INFINIDAT’s VP of Business Development. “Admittedly, we haven’t done a great job of marketing in the past, and that includes with the channel organizations.”
INFINIDAT was founded in 2011, with Moshe Yanai, their CEO, putting in the Series A investment of around $65 million out of his own pocket. Yanai, who started his career with IBM, before moving to EMC to lead the development of their Symmetrix line, founded Israeli storage startup XIV, and sold it to IBM in 2008. INFINIDAT had their Series B round of $150 million in 2015, and their Series C round of $95 million, led by Goldman Sachs, last September. INFINIDAT is currently valued at $1.6 billion, is cash-flow positive, and is on schedule for an IPO in two years.
“INFINIDAT is a perfect blend of the classic dual controller enterprise array with XIV, which combines the benefit of both types of designs without the disadvantages of each,” Cancilla said. “We tend to replace IBM XIV and DSA 1000 – not a surprise given our roots. Dell EMC VMAX is actually the top product we displace, and HPE 3PAR is third. We see Pure Storage a lot and compete with them on deals.”
Cancilla said that INFINIDAT’s secret sauce is their ability to be faster than all-flash with a hybrid architecture.
“We can do that because of our neural caching,” he said. “We use machine learning and AI to identify what data comes in, and for the first five minutes the data sits in DRAM and that’s when we assess it and tier it into spinning disk or flash. That’s where most of our patents are.” Cancilla also highlighted easy to use RESTful APIs and an all-in business model with support built into the cost as differentiators for them.
Telcos are a major market for INFINIDAT. British Telecom is their number one client and a public reference, although Cancilla said they do business with all the major telcos in North America.
“Our largest market is actually in financial services,” he indicated. “Our second largest industry vertical, and the fastest growing one is MSPs.” Health care, insurance, retail and manufacturing are other key verticals.
For most of their existence, since they first brought product to market in 2014, INFINIDAT was a one product company. InfiniBox, their petabyte scale array offering, remains their flagship product, but it has recently been supplemented by a full suite of offerings.
“We have launched a full multi-solutions portfolio, which includes our InfiniGuard Backup Appliance, which brings us for the first time into a strong competitive position versus Data Domain in the backup and data protection space,” Cancilla said. “Our other new products are InfiniSync which can do synchronous data replication Recovery Point Objectives at an infinite distance, and our Neutrix Cloud Storage. Those four products now encompass a true portfolio. We are no longer a single product company.”
INFINIDAT’s partnership with Veeam falls into that common scenario where each party wants to leverage the capabilities of the other to strengthen themselves in new markets.
“While this is our first year here at VeeamON, we have met with them at places like VMworld, and we both primarily serve open the virtualized compute space where VMware dominates,” Cancilla said. “Veeam is expanding into the enterprise and has a strong desire to get into the space where we are today. Our technical integrations with Veeam help us to take on Data Domain in the backup market. MSPs have become even more important to us since the introduction of our cloud offering, and that’s another area of overlap with Veeam.”
The integration between INFINIDAT and the Veeam Availability Platform is a Plug-In for Veeam Backup & Replication, which was developed using the Veeam Universal Storage API and supports Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3. INFINIDAT’s InfiniSnap snapshot integration – a core element of InfiniBox –lowers the impact from backup activities on a VMware environment by retrieving virtual machine data, and provides improved snapshot orchestration for better recovery point objectives.
“We are also promoting our newly launched products at VeeamON, especially InfiniGuard,” Cancilla said.
Enlisting some of Veeam’s top partners not presently working with INFINIDAT is another objective. INFINIDAT has a hybrid channel model, which is almost all channel outside North America, and about 75 per cent channel here, primarily because they have several very large customers who want to deal direct.
“Our channel is very much a value rather than a volume-based one – since our average sales price is $750,000,” Cancilla indicated. “We have about 175 partners in the Americas, and over 300 worldwide. Howeer, in North America there are only 50 who we have done more than two deals with. Most of our partners open the door and close the door, but we tend to do the technical lifting in between.”
Cancilla said that INFINIDAT only has about 10 partners he would consider strong ‘go-to’ partners, and he would like to increase that.
“We need to increase our channel visibility,” he said. “I’d like not to have 10 top producers. I’d like to have 25. Our best partners are also very focused on the U.S., although we have some very good regional partners there. I would like to have more value partners in the rest of the world, especially as we ramp our business into Spanish-speaking Central America, Each of those countries has a key partner to be with.”
Compugen is INFINIDAT’s key Canadian partner.
INFNIDAT also recently hired former Arrow executive Mitch Diodato to head their North American channels organization.